Just In: Shoshana review: Superb acting and espionage flavours in a timely tale

Selected cinemas; Cert Club

Shoshana | Official Trailer | In Cinemas February 23

Few coincidences could be as bitter on the tongue than for ­Shoshana to have its UK premiere on October 7. Just as director Michael Winterbottom and his cast were preparing for the event, news came in of the massacre ­unfolding in the Jewish state.

That attack and the subsequent catastrophe in Gaza sharpen the arrival of this historical drama about love and radicalisation amid Israel’s violent birth.

Interwar Tel Aviv is a liberal city within British-mandated Palestine. With worrying murmurs from Germany, rival Zionist factions there grow impatient for a larger slice of the Promised Land.

Shoshana (Irina Starshenbaum), a beautiful and independent journalist, aspires to her late father’s ideal of Jews and Arabs living in peace. Her romance with an English assistant superintendent (Douglas Booth) will be tested when an anti-terrorism chief (Harry Melling) is assigned to crack down on Zionist groups, from the territorial army she drills with to the hardline cell led by Avraham Stern (Aury Alby).

Superb acting and espionage flavours carry this serviceable Winterbottom outing into a period in history that, more than ever, demands to be reckoned with.

Four stars

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